Vodacom Lesotho

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Join the fight against GBV 16 days & beyond

Photo: Participants of the men up conference

Statistics reflect the alarming impact and cost of gender-based violence on communities, businesses, and the national economies. In Lesotho alone, at least 86% of women have reported experiencing GBV in their lifetimes, 41% of men have admitted to committing acts of GBV; and 63% of working women have been sexually harassed in the workplace.


As we take a stance against gender-based violence, we fully acknowledge that no single sector or organization can adequately address all elements of GBV prevention and response. To win the fight against gender-based violence, we must adopt a holistic and coordinated approach aimed at working at different levels of society, and with multiple actors to prevent and respond to GBV in Lesotho. Vodacom Lesotho, actively promotes and supports participation, collaboration and coordination of key stakeholders across sectors in the efforts against GBV. We have taken steps to raise awareness about this shadow pandemic internally within our organization and externally.  Critically we have invested in initiatives that also actively provide appropriate support and services where possible to those affected.


Internal Programmes

  1. Wellness Programme: Through our ICAS service, our employees can call or simply request a call from a professional counsellor 24/7. A person can also chat via a secure live text platform with an ICAS professional such as a counsellor, medical professional or legal advisor for assistance. 


  1. Safe Leave– Employees who have faced abuse are given up to 10 days additional “safe leave”, allowing them time to process their situations, seek professional help and counseling, attend police, or court appointments and make arrangements to move house or look after their children.

External initiatives

Through our Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, we have in partnership with different stakeholders invested in initiatives that seek to address GBV.

  1. Nokaneng App– We cannot discount the pivotal role technology can play in solving the GBV crisis. Vodacom sought to bring its ICT expertise to the table by assisting in the design and rollout of the Nokaneng App, which provides:
  • Clarity on what constitutes GBV
  • Information on women’s rights and locally available support services
  • A safe, virtual space for women to share stories and support each other
  • Women with an emergency system to alert community members and peers in case of violence
  • Additional resources for dealing with rape, physical violence, abandoned children, and indecent assault
  1. SMS Support –Vodacom has also supported the development of an SMS-based solutions, accessible to those who don’t own a smartphone or who are hesitant to use apps. Users of the app can access GBV-related content through the platform, which also makes use of an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, relaying important information as audio messages.

During these 16 days, we have supported and participated in a series of community and sector activities, aimed at fostering a collaborative effort in addressing GBV

  1. Men Up Lesotho Conference -held in partnership with the Child, Gender and Protection Unit (CGPU), UNFPA, UNICEF, World Vision Lesotho, and the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGYSR). The aim of the conference, amongst other objectives, was to provide a forum for men to develop and share new and effective strategies to end GBV in Lesotho.


  1. SheHive Race Against GBV– We participated in the awareness race, which was aimed at mobilizing communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to help eradicate violence against women and children.


  1. Workplace GBV– Together with our partners, the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGYSR) and Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Lesotho we hosted an informative dialogue around gender-based violence prevention in the workplace. The interactive session involved corporate players, trade unions, government representatives, international and local NGOs.


  1. Community Dialogues – We supported Genderlinks’s community dialogues in the Districts of Leribe, Mokhotlong (Mallingoaneng), and Berea (Ha- Phuthiatsana). The overall objective of the dialogues was to identify and discuss drivers of gender-based violence in the communities and explore possible interventions to facilitate behavior change concerning violence against women. 


  1. GBV Safety Centers– Working with Ministry of Gender and the LMPS Gender Protection Unit, we have invested +M500, 000 towards support of The Maseru and Leribe Safety Centers. This support has been in the form of refurbishment of a disused building, which now offers shelter to victims and survivors of GBV in the Leribe district. We also provide basic hygiene and groceries, communications tools to both centers.

Vodacom believes that the long-term solution to successfully eradicating GBV can be achieved through working together with individuals, Governmental bodies, civil society organizations and communities in transforming the attitudes of perpetrators and creating enabling environments for victims and survivors.

As Vodacom, we recommit to giving meaning to gender parity through our clear, bold, and solid policies in the workplace and purposefully reviewing such on a continuous basis. We further courageously pledge continued support through our Foundation for programmes that look to advance gender equality in our communities.